Raiders hire Ken Norton Jr. as defensive coordinator

AP

New Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio waited a long time to hire his new defensive coordinator, but now he’s got his man.

Ken Norton Jr. will be the defensive coordinator of the Raiders.

Norton is a longtime protege of Pete Carroll, having spent the last five years as the Seahawks’ linebackers coach and six years before that as a linebackers coach and assistant head coach under Carroll at USC. The Raiders job will be Norton’s first job with someone other than Carroll as his boss.

The 48-year-old Norton, son of the former heavyweight champion of the world, was a linebacker for the Cowboys from 1988 to 1993 and the 49ers from 1994 to 2000.

Norton’s departure is another reminder of how hard it is to keep together the kind of great coaching staff that the Seahawks had on the defensive side of the ball. Seattle has already lost defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who became the head coach of the Falcons.

114 responses to “Raiders hire Ken Norton Jr. as defensive coordinator

  1. All he best to Ken. He was loved here in Seattle and is such a cool guy. Were going to miss him. GO HAWKS! Rooting for Kris to be our new DC.

  2. I hate to admit this about anything the Raiduhs do but I like this hire a lot, I think he’s going to be a pretty good DC, he has the pedigree.

  3. Still shocked Jim Schwartz doesn’t have a job.
    ———
    Why? Nobody can stand to be around people like him. Its not that hard to figure out.

  4. When fans of other teams have been saying the Seahawks are about to come crashing back down to earth, this is why. Sure it is going to hurt when they have to pay huge salaries to guys that currently make pennies compared to what they give the team (specifically Wilson), but the big loss and the main reason it is so difficult to sustain excellence for a long period of time is the departures from the coaching staff and front office

  5. You can’t really blame him for leaving since Dan Quinn has already come out in favor of Kris Richard replacing Quinn as defensive coordinator. He probably looked at what was in the best interest of his career and realized he wasn’t going to get promoted.

    He is talented and a good guy. Best of luck to you, Ken Norton.

  6. beastmode5150 says:
    Feb 6, 2015 3:00 PM
    How come teams aren’t going after Patriots coaches? Hmph
    _________________________________________

    You are exactly right. The NFL understands the amazing coaching job that has gone on with nearly all members of the Seahawks’ coaching staff. Other teams might make a success of 1 or 2 players drafted in the later rounds. The Seahawks stake their whole success on it. Now THAT is great coaching!

  7. “The Raiders job will be Norton’s first job with someone other than Carroll as his boss.”

    The 48-year-old Norton, son of the former heavyweight champion of the world, was a linebacker for the Cowboys from 1988 to 1993 and the 49ers from 1994 to 2000.

    So are you saying Caroll was on staff with the Cowboys and the 49ers? Or do you mean this was Nortons first COACHING job with someone other than Caroll? Or are you saying that Norton’s gigs with S.F. and Dallas were not real jobs?

  8. He’s another Singletary rah rah guy with no real x and o talent. Amazing how years in the dumpster can make raider nation celebrate anything

  9. beastmode5150 says:
    Feb 6, 2015 3:00 PM
    How come teams aren’t going after Patriots coaches? Hmph

    ……………………………………

    Why would we hire cheaters with deflated balls?

  10. Ken is a tough guy and expects nothing less from his players – I hate the fact he’s leaving Seattle but I wish him the best of luck. I can see Raiders getting back on track and making a good run in a couple of years. It will be fun to watch. HAWKS FAN FOREVER. Not a Raiders hater either!

  11. I thought that’s who they were after.

    JDR wants someone who won’t get too pissed that he’s really the one pulling the strings on D.

  12. Time to make serious run at top young free agents we will haver over 60 mill after we cut Schaub Woodley MJD .. Maclin WR Cobb WR. Maxwell CB Jerry Hughes DE Gred Hardy DE. maybe T knighton from Den DT Sue will cost too much Get envolved in the bidding war and push the price way up and then let him sign with somebody else and be their cap problem .. Mark Ingram would also be a good signing power back for a power scheme at a decent price we have the cap space. We need to have planes waiting for these people at 12:00 and fly them in to Oakland. When they all see each other at Raider headquarters what better recruiting tool is there .. Woodson and Tuck can help recruit at that point .. Raider nation has waited twelve years for a contending team way to long .

  13. I am sure that he will do an outstanding job and it is a loss for the Seahawks. I was hoping he would remain, but it is always good to see those who were with the organization get recognized for their good work and get promotional opportunities. I wish him great success and hope that someday perhaps we can see him competing against Coach Carroll in that final season showdown. Good Luck and thanks for everything Mr. Norton.

    Go Hawks!

  14. This is a great hire, Kenny Norts will be a headcoach soon. Could be the best hire in the Bay Area. He is intense and players will run through a brick wall for em. I love this hire.

  15. Awesome! Feel like he has been on the cusp forever to be a dcoord in college or NFL…glad he is on the Raiders staff. Now just need to get players as Mack Tuck and 50 year old CWood is like 5% of the talent he was around Seattles D…keep building Raiders…

    …and back to trolling the Pats “paranoid and insufferable” (quote from Michael Smith’s podcast) fans on all PFT threads!

  16. Solid hire!!! But as a loyal longtime Raiders fan- still not pleased with the Offensive Coordinator that we hired. Although the QB coach we hired is intriguing……………………

  17. Great hire! Hawk fans know this one hurts. Don’t expect them to admit it though. GO RAIDERS!!!!

  18. beastmode5150 says:
    Feb 6, 2015 3:00 PM
    How come teams aren’t going after Patriots coaches? Hmph

    37 9
    ___________________________________
    Because:
    RISE LORD HOODIE! RISE!

  19. Ken Norton Jr. was only 13-months-old when his mother left.

    Per the Dallas Morning News: “When his first wife left, Ken Norton didn’t send his 13-month-old son to live with his parents. Nothing changed.”

    I’ve always remember this quote from Ken Norton Sr. about taking care of his son:

    “I had how to learn how to feed him. I had to learn how to wash him. I never had to learn how to love him.”

  20. Great hire for the Raiders. The only bummer is that adds added fuel to the fire of Raider fans starting their usual off season chatter of “This is the year we dominate, Raider nation rah rah rah” and then proceed to always end up in the last place toilet.

  21. adderal says:
    Feb 6, 2015 3:10 PM
    He’s another Singletary rah rah guy with no real x and o talent. Amazing how years in the dumpster can make raider nation celebrate anything

    …………………………………………………………………………….

    Ahhh poor guy. Good luck with TomShula.

  22. As a Seahawk fan, this is a great hire for the Raiders.

    Any idiot who thinks Seahawks fans are bitter when our coaches get promotions on other teams are stupid. It’s a byproduct of success and we’re thrilled that our team is now good enough that coaching for our team afforded those coaches the opportunity to move up.

  23. topatsasteriskforever: you talk tough , why don’t you meet me in the north end on 98 prince street in front of Anguilo’s HQ ? lets see how tough you really are . remember December 18th 1976 when the Snake stuck it to your Patsies .

  24. I feel so much better that Todd Grantham decided to stay in Louisville with Bobby Petrino .

    This is great news !

  25. Yikes looks like the Raiders are loading up on defense. Now all they need to do is fix that offensive line of theirs then they could be close to winning the AFC West. Patriots vs Raiders used to be games filled with unrelenting hate and epic encounters lets hope it can be that way again. Besides it’s more fun to hate the Raiders when they’re actually good.

  26. Norton was not even wanted by the Seahawks as Defensive Coordinator buyer beware.
    Cue in the lowest IQ Raider fans who think Mckenzie resembles anything but a competent GM .
    Also notice all the low watts back posting”here come the playoffs “crowd same dolts after they signed Matt Schaub LMAO.
    Actually I think it’s 1 or 2 people spamming support for McKenzie so he can collect a paycheck because no one else in the league wants him.

  27. Yeah if you remember Norton Sr fighting Ali on a 15 round friday night fight shown on ABC and sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon you are old ; )

  28. nflfolly says:
    Feb 6, 2015 4:19 PM
    Norton was not even wanted by the Seahawks as Defensive Coordinator buyer beware.
    Cue in the lowest IQ Raider fans who think Mckenzie resembles anything but a competent GM .
    Also notice all the low watts back posting”here come the playoffs “crowd same dolts after they signed Matt Schaub LMAO.
    Actually I think it’s 1 or 2 people spamming support for McKenzie so he can collect a paycheck because no one else in the league wants him.

    ___________________________________

    Troll alert!

  29. adderal says: Feb 6, 2015 3:10 PM

    He’s another Singletary rah rah guy with no real x and o talent. Amazing how years in the dumpster can make raider nation celebrate anything
    ———————–
    And some people troll anything Raider related, facts be damned.

  30. When the Raiders seemingly stopped their DC search I figured they had to be eyeing someone on the Seahawks or the Patriots staff. This appears to be a solid hire, I’m just wondering why Seattle, which knew Quinn was going to Atlanta, why they didn’t promote Norton to DC? Regardless, I’m sure Norton will be very motivated to do a great job for the Raiders.

  31. wvuandsteelers says:
    Feb 6, 2015 2:51 PM
    Still shocked Jim Schwartz doesn’t have a job
    —————————————————————

    Are you talking about Jim “Low Class” Schwartz? The guy that taught Suh and other Detroit mouth-breathers to act like idiots on the field? The guy that had his Buffalo players carry him off of the field?

    That Jim Schwartz?

    I’ll be surprised if anyone hires him.

  32. thatstinks says: Feb 6, 2015 4:24 PM

    Yeah if you remember Norton Sr fighting Ali on a 15 round friday night fight shown on ABC and sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon you are old ; )
    ———————————————
    Crap, I remember that.

  33. Congrats Ken, you deserve it. And yes, a minor blow to the Seahawks and ignorant people forget that Gus Bradley was the DC before Quinn came back and there was no drop in performance as D remained #1 in league, so now again it’s just next man up! Ken wasn’t getting the DC job in Seattle so smart for him to move on, but he’ll miss being under Pete’s umbrella as he’s the true mastermind behind the D. It’s just the O that needs a little work!

  34. Wow. So now Seattle loses Quinn and Norton? that’s gotta hurt the Seattle D.

    Next season should be interesting.

    Seattle is coming off of a painful loss in the Super Bowl, a loss of their top two defensive coaches, and will likely lose players to FA or the salary cap.

    San Francisco is in even worse shape with all but two coaches gone, a QB that is mediocre, and an owner that doesn’t know anything about football and keeps firing the wrong people.

    It looks like 2015 will be a good year for Arizona and St. Louis.

  35. Norton could not even get the Defensive coordinator gig in Seattle which was open LOL. 0-16 Raiders next year just like I predicted this year’s fiasco.
    Mckenzie probably trying to sign Ryan Leaf to surpass his genius move with Schaub and Flynn.

  36. Here we go again. This hire will have Raider Nation touting Oakland as Super Bowl contenders (as usual) despite having the worst record in the NFL for the last 12 years. 3-13 to the playoffs? really?

  37. Players make the coach. We wouldn’t even know who Bill Belichick is if he didn’t get a winning lottery ticket in Tom Brady. The Seahawks’ defense is good because of the players. Quinn gets some credit, but he gets too much.

  38. As a Broncos fan looks the Raiders are improving their coaching staff and I hope we can get back to being the best division in the league.
    They have young talent mixed with some old, just need direction.

  39. babygaga19 says:
    Feb 6, 2015 5:37 PM
    I am sorry, but if Kenny Norton Junior was so good, why did everybody pass him by? Oaktown, you got the last french fry in the bag.
    ————————————————————-

    JDR ia a head coach that is deeply vested in the NFL. He can evaluate coaches based on his personal experience with them, and not by word of mouth.

    I’m Personally glad that we have a head coach that thinks differently. Those who think like the average, become average.

    Think different…chase greatness….The Raider Way.

  40. So Ken Jr who most consider does a great job worked for Pete Carroll for 11 years but when a DC opening came up Pete wouldn’t promote Ken.
    Wonder why.

  41. kcflake says: Feb 6, 2015 5:42 PM

    I can’t wait to see Jamall Charles tear up your defense twice a year! Go Chiefs.
    ——————
    Charles had 31 rushes for 132 yards at 2 TDs against Oakland last season. He also had 5 receptions for 43 yards and 1 TD. Decent numbers, but nobody got torn up. And he spells his name Jamaal.

  42. kcflake says: Feb 6, 2015 5:42 PM

    I can’t wait to see Jamall Charles tear up your defense twice a year! Go Chiefs.
    ——————

    In a losing effort though.

  43. Norton is a very good, tough, and hard-nosed coach. He will have the Raider D playing well within the next year or 2.

    The offense will have to pick it up with Carr and Murray at RB, and the young Qb needs more receiving weapons and a good line to protect him. Give Carr that and you will get some good results with the D living up to its end of the bargain.

  44. For those of you to dumb to understand a man leaving for a promotion or thinking he must hate Carroll;

    “One thing, I can really take my hat off to Pete Carroll,” Norton said in a conference call with Raiders reporters. “He’s really done a great job of when we’re there with him, he’s always preparing us to be coordinators, to be head coaches. He’s always having us look forward and do things that are important for us to continue our careers and keep improving ourselves. He’s always been preparing us for the next step.”

  45. brenenostler says:
    Feb 6, 2015 3:10 PM
    Actually not a bad hire. But then again, it seems like everything the Raiders tries just doesn’t work.
    ————————————————-
    So what your saying is that the Raiders need to “tries” harder. I can see that

  46. Met him when I was a kid at 49ers training camp.

    Super nice guy and even ran down my sister to give us back our Sharpie.

    Hate the Raiders but hope he does GREAT

  47. babygaga19 says:
    Feb 6, 2015 5:37 PM

    I am sorry, but if Kenny Norton Junior was so good, why did everybody pass him by? Oaktown, you got the last french fry in the bag.

    ===========================

    Maybe it’s because NO ONE passed him by because by league rules the Seattle coaching staff was off limits until after the Super Bowl? Maybe that’s the reason the Raiders had to wait so long to get the guy Del Rio really wanted as DC? Of course for the SAME reason Atlanta also had to wait to get Dan Quinn as their HC but I doubt that you’re in the Falcons comment section saying that everyone else passed Quinn by…

  48. Is he going to suit up? Everyone knows what this move was all about….Norton and Marshawn Lynch are tied at the hip, nice move Oakland Lynch is not far behind.

  49. Del Rio has put together quite a nice staff, looking forward to seeing what FA’s we go after and sign.
    Del Rio will have a say in that matter, so I look for them to sign a few prime FA’s this year.
    So far so good, I’m liking what the Raiders have done and can’t wait to see them back on the field.

  50. Seems a little crazy, but did John Madden really talk sense into Mark Davis? The Raider coaching staff is now populated by a bunch of good coaches. Good coaches usually have a good idea about what kind of players are required in order to produce winning football. Looks like Reggie McKenzie will have a lot of strong input from strong leaders in the organization. No excuses for him now. I’m glad to see it.

  51. Classic! Raiders hire a DC long after all other teams had theirs (ie Raiders got bottom of the barrel), and now Raider fans act like Norton Jr is the second coming of john Madden!

    PS- Hey Nation, trivia. How many times has Jack Del Rio been fired from an NFL job? Tick tock!

  52. The Hawk defensive position coaches all took medium level talent and coached them to elite level production. None better than Ken Norton Jr., although Kris Richards got the DC promotion on the Hawks. We will see if it translates to coordinator, but the Seahawks defense is known to be pretty simple in concept, depending on excellent individual execution to succeed. If he is helpful in finding and putting together that kind of players for the Raiders it could indeed signal a shift in the AFC balance of power.

  53. Surprised, just because I’d assumed Norton wasn’t interested in a DC gig since he’d been approached before.
    Still, the mark of a good coaching staff, particularly for a team like the Raiders, is one that has coaches players want to play for and play well for.
    Something that has been in short supply in Oakland for the last decade or so.

  54. vegasgreek says: Feb 6, 2015 3:51 PM

    now if the Raiders can get Suh and JPP in free agency they will have the makings of a knock out defense.

    JPP yes. The money Suh will demand will suck the life out of what ever team signs him.

  55. slick50ks says:
    Feb 6, 2015 8:06 PM
    Norton was apparently one of the last guys left.
    ——————————

    you are correct…he was busy at the super bowl

  56. adderal says: Feb 6, 2015 3:10 PM

    He’s another Singletary rah rah guy with no real x and o talent. Amazing how years in the dumpster can make raider nation celebrate anything
    ———————————————————-

    Easy call for ya there…. If it was last year. Not sure where you’ve been but the Raiders are a good football team. This off-season has been so far nothing but good for them. Still to come but Del Rio and Norton both deserve props. Oakland is no longer run by Darth Vader. THE RAIDER NATION IS REBORN!!!! AFC WEST CHAMPS 2015!!!

  57. I like the Raiders choice here. Seems like Reggie is allowing Del Rio to hire all of ‘his guys.’ This, plus Del Rio’s HC experience should mean for a cohesive staff.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!